Aussie in contention for PGA playoffs win
CAMERON Smith says the hunger for his second US PGA Tour victory will drive his quest to chase down a five-shot deficit in the final round at the PGA Tour's Northern Trust tournament.
The 25-year-old fired himself into contention with a hot third round at the FedEx Cup play-offs opener in New Jersey; a six-under-par 65 elevating Smith to 11 under.
American Bryson DeChambeau took the 54-hole lead at 16 under with a sensational 63, leaving countryman Keegan Bradley in his wake four shots back - despite Bradley's 62 equalling the Ridgewood Country Club's course record.
Almost 18 months since breaking through at the 2017 Zurich Classic, Smith's recent chances at getting off the lone victory mark on the US tour include a top-five finish at this year's Masters.
The Queenslander has battled a poor patch since the April major and admits his winless drought in America has become frustrating.
"Absolutely; it's been a while now," Smith said.
Smith has compiled a solid US Tour season, including five top-10 results but hasn't sniffed a victory chance since Augusta National.
He also won the Australian PGA Championship in December.
"I've been trying but nothing's really been happening; it's been a tough last couple few months and it'd be nice to tick one off," Smith said. Smith will play in the penultimate group on Sunday with Tony Finau and acknowledged there is plenty to play for aside from winning the first tournament of the $67 million ($A91 million) FedEx Cup finals series.
World No.49 Smith is the third-highest Australian on the rankings but is determined to play his way into the two-man team for the golf World Cup in Melbourne in November.
On Tuesday, world No.44 Adam Scott joked Smith "better play well" if he wanted to usurp Scott as the second-highest Australian.
"Scotty kind of revved me up the other day saying I'd better play well if I want to get on that team," Smith said.
Scott finished one shot back of Smith at 10 under after a gutsy fightback from a mid-round meltdown, when he dropped four shots in three holes. But three late birdies helped Scott shoot 70 and he will start Sunday an outside chance, six shots adrift of DeChambeau.
"I really switched off and made a mess of things around the turn but I'm not out of it completely; I can shoot a low one with the way I've played all week," Scott said.
Jason Day's 68 left him a distant eight shots off the pace at eight under, while fellow Australian Marc Leishman (70) is one under.